Royal Rumble Week: Possible Surprises For Men’s And Women’s Matches

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Royal Rumble
Photo: WWE

The Royal Rumble inches closer and closer, as we have officially entered “Royal Rumble Week”. And with the week beginning comes the excitement. It is hard to not want to jump up and down at the thought of who may show up, who will walk out as the winner and guarantee their shot at WrestleMania. While the WWE has to have other matches despite the two Royal Rumble matches, all of the excitement belongs in those two traditional contests. And as I stated, the thought of “who” could surprise the crowd and enter the Royal Rumble is what most people enjoy about the build-up. When the countdown pops onto the screen and the fans in the arena countdown, there is no better feeling when music hits that no one expects.

So the question that remains now is: who are real possibilities to surprise the crowd come Sunday night? NXT stars, legends, who knows! Here is a look, based on rumors, injuries, and overall skepticism, at four men and four women who may enter the Royal Rumble matches on Sunday night.

Men:

Matt Riddle

Photo: Oli Sandler – Ringside Perspective

The “Bro” seems to make the most sense to surprise on Sunday night. Maybe it’s because Brock Lesnar has entered himself at number one, despite being the WWE Champion. For those who possibly do not know, Matt Riddle has vowed to be the man to retire “The Beast Incarnate”. Why not a sneak preview? “The Original Bro” remains one of the most popular wrestlers in all of wrestling even without holding championship gold in NXT to this point. He could have his hands full the night prior if he and Pete Dunne manage to advance to the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic finals but win or lose we know that Riddle would be ready. Imagining the explosion if the music hit after Paul Heyman got off the mic following Lesnar’s entrance is more exciting than them going head to head.

NXT will be represented one way or another. Give the crowd what they want since he will be in town.

Keith Lee

More NXT? More NXT. Keith Lee walked away from Survivor Series weekend as a mega-star as he held his own against Roman Reigns and even pinned Seth Rollins. Fans don’t instantly forget that. They instead remember the impact this guy had and know that he could be a serious contender if he made his way into the Rumble match. Imagining him locking horns with the likes of Brock Lesnar, Drew McIntyre, and Samoa Joe can make fans foam at the mouth with what they could do. Of course, that is if he makes the surprise to try and solidify himself a spot in the WrestleMania main event. His failure or success on Wednesday night against Roderick Strong for the NXT North American Championship can certainly give a peek into what the future shall be for the “Limitless” one.

If he does enter the Royal Rumble as a surprise, everyone will have no choice but to “Bask in his Glory”.

Jinder Mahal

Photo: WWE

Not the most popular choice but a real possibility to be a surprise in the men’s match. “The Modern Day Maharaja” has been out with an injury for what is coming close to a year. Jinder Mahal tweeted out recently that he is on his way back and would be returning “soon”. What is “soon”? The Royal Rumble match, perhaps? The former WWE Champion would by no means receive a hero’s welcome but this seems all but a perfect time for him to come back. If that is the case, expect him to have a good showing or maybe be instantly eliminated. Who knows.

Edge

Photo: WWE

Can I believe that I am writing this currently? Not a chance. But here we are and by all reports, this chance only becomes realer and realer. “The Rated-R Superstar” is one of the top choices not only in betting odds but on the rumor mill to be a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble match. Edge retired in 2011 as the World Heavyweight Champion. His last televised match ever happened at WrestleMania 27 where he retained the title to kick off the show. The time is 2020 and the chance that will not be his last match is inching closer and closer to reality. If the countdown happens and “you think you know me” goes through the arena, the eruption of the crowd may never be topped again.

If the “Ultimate Opportunist” returns on Sunday, this will not just be his second time ever returning in the match but will be his second chance to win it. His last time being in this type of contest, he won it in 2010. Let the butterflies fly as the excitement builds up.

Women:

Nia Jax

Photo: WWE

After WrestleMania last year, Nia Jax seemingly disappeared. It was revealed that she had to get not one, but two surgeries. One for both of her knees. After plenty of recuperating and getting back into ring shape, the time seems to be rather soon for a return to the WWE. The former Raw Women’s Champion would add a much-needed presence to the women’s division on Raw or SmackDown. She is also the same woman who competed in not one, but two Royal Rumbles in the same night a year ago as she entered into the men’s rumble as well. So why not make her return to the place she made history last year?

She’d certainly be a favorite.

Paige

Neck injuries are nothing to mess with. But going off rumors, not just one, but two wrestlers who had to retire from the WWE because of their neck could be making their way back. The past few weeks, Paige has been gaining buzz because she said she would be announcing something but has yet to. Twitter has become ablaze to the thought that Paige could return to the ring for the WWE as her most recent neck surgery in 2019 may have done the trick to get her back in the ring. If her mother is to believed, however, she is nowhere close to returning and never will. That’s neither here nor there, as denial from wrestler’s on Twitter usually leads to it becoming fact more than fiction. If Paige were to return at the Royal Rumble, she would become one of the favorites instantly.

Speculation can lead to a lot, but if Paige does return, it was one heck of a road back for her.

Shayna Baszler

Photo: WWE

Betting odds are a big thing when it is Royal Rumble time. Huge actually, as the top two usually tend to have some good probabilities towards who wins the matches each year. At times in the past month, there has not been a woman with a better chance than the former 2-time NXT Women’s Champion, Shayna Baszler. “The Queen of Spades” did everything there was to do in NXT. Everything. So why be wasted down there when there is a real opportunity to rise up and make an impact on the main roster. Baszler proved she can hang at Survivor Series when she won the triple threat match between the champs. But it seems fans may forget that Becky Lynch laid her out following the match.

This seems like the perfect chance to get back at her by winning the third-ever women’s Royal Rumble to guarantee a shot at her Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania.

Ronda Rousey

Photo: WWE

“I don’t give a damn ’bout my bad reputation.” We know Ronda Rousey went away to try and have a child with her husband, Travis Browne, following WrestleMania last year. But an untold story remains between her and Becky Lynch. The Rousey camp has been rather quiet in terms of return talk or anything really. So around this time, speculation rises. It will be two years from the first time she stepped into the WWE as an active competitor at the Royal Rumble. Maybe this time she enters for the first time in her career. If so, she wins the whole shebang. “The Baddest Woman on the Planet” has shown her ability to learn and become one of the best. She has a brand new challenge ahead of her if the return is near.

If I’m Becky Lynch, I am keeping eyes in the back of my head from either horsewomen. Especially the one with who she has the most history against. Ronda would be happy to take the strap off of Lynch that she lost a year ago at WrestleMania.

There you have it. The most possible returns for this year’s men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches. Make sure to check back all week for more “Royal Rumble Week” content.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world.  We provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.  WWE fan? Check out the WWE Network to fulfill all of your WWE needs.

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